this Friday afternoon…

when the rain gets too loud for conversation
and a breeze blows through
I eat the last bite of papaya
and say thank you
because,

despite all the
little tiny,
normal, or
potentially life-changing
stressors
we face,

peace is sweet…and it’s Friday!

even when days off means
days to catch up,
it’s nice to have a chance
to breathe.

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Safe and Sound

It seems to me
/in my limited life experience/
that we all need
/yup, need- even when we wish we didn’t/
people–friends and mentors
/don’t be scared of the title; it’s a compliment/
who are safe and sound.

Safe
with your best interests at heart
/God’s best/
tight lips
/no joy in getting your dirt; no plans to share it/
shared tears and laughs
/don’t forget the Kleenex/
a hug when you need it
/avoidance of platitudes/
and acknowledgement that sometimes there are no easy answers.

Sound
reminders of what you once knew
/without lording over you your need for reminders/
prayer before you go
/especially when you don’t know how to pray for yourself/
encouragement to trust Jesus
/even when it’s hard/
and truth you desperately need
/this means knowing and sharing the truth when it is hard to hear and sometimes unwelcome/

In my limited life experience, when you find safety and soundness
/encapsulated in one or more real live humans/
you’ll usually find love, too.
/the real, messy, pain-inducing, heart-breaking, joyful investment is what I’m talking about here./

At that point, hang on. You’re in for a great ride.

The Beauty of Holiness

is the beauty I want.

Straight from your holy place
Lord make us holy
As You are holy
Lord send it down
Just a little bit of heaven here on earth
Lord send Your glory

Lord, we need You,
Lord, I love You,
Thank You Jesus.

-Sara Groves, “Glory Come Down”

Holiness- a bit of heaven here on earth- His glory!  It seems crazy to think that this has been His plan since before the world began.  Despite the intense lack of holiness that has permeated earth for millennia, He keeps doing it: buying us back and setting us apart, sending bits of heaven to earth and making things right.

Lord, we DO need you.  May we always welcome the passionate and pure fire of Your love, no matter how uncomfortable the heat at times.  Thank You for making Yourself at home here on earth and in us.

Grace, miracle, or both

:: to fly away from home and come home, all at the same time ::

:: to be refreshed and renewed with a full schedule ::

:: to remember but not mourn ::

:: to see butterflies fly where caterpillars once crawled ::

:: to share tears and lunch and courage ::

:: to know that things will never be the same ::

:: to be okay with that by faith ::

You Did That for Me

Leviticus is good reading.  Really.  It generally falls into the “something that pastors should probably read and everyone else can skip” or the book whose reputation of out-dated rules goes before it and prevents its reading.  I would argue, though, that this book, like every other in the Bible, has something we need.  (I do wear cotton blends, so I’m not saying every commandment is for us to follow to the letter today.)

Thankfully, my Bible reading plan has brought me back to it again, and I am grateful.  Today, I read chapter 23, in which God commands no work during the Day of Atonement six times in the six verses of instruction.  He’s serious about it, too.  The consequence for working on the Day of Atonement is death. Yep- you work, you die.

As I thought about this, the foreshadowing became clearer and stronger.  Of course God prohibited work on the Day of Atonement!  Atonement has been made for us now through no amazing work of our own but by the work of Jesus on the cross.

Trouble comes when we thing that we can work for our own atonement.  The consequence of sin is death.  The only way to get around the consequence is to accept the atonement made by Jesus.  When any of us tries to work for what has been freely given, we risk believing that we could save ourselves, muddying the beauty of the truth, and missing the whole point.

So simple, yet so easy to forget.  So I endeavor to preach the gospel to myself daily, remembering that He did the work for me.

Listen to Sara Groves’ song, “You Did That for Me.”

You wore the chains so I could be free .
You did that for me.

Dust to Dust

A thousand tiny sun-lit sparkles

Fall back to the lake from whence they came

After a short life of beauty

Water to water they return,

Their quick life a reminder that

I, too, will have

A short life span no matter how long I live

Again I pray,

“Teach me to number my days

Instead of wishing them away.”